We are the university, Louise

Short speech given by Prof.  Amade M’charek (Anthropology, ReThink) on April 13th, 2015

Dear colleagues, dear students.

Thank you for being here in such large numbers. We are 3.000 people here. This is truly amazing! I read this as a defeat for the CvB And a victory for us, the University. For we are the university, Louise.

  1. We are here today because we are outraged about last Saturday.
  2. But we are also here because we want to make it clear to everybody who did not notice yet that this is our university, that we want to take back.

The eviction last Saturday was not only illegitimate, it has also betrayed the fragile trust that was emerging between us and the board. We were in close conversations, also in the bumpy process of negotiation between DNU and the CvB. It was clear to everybody that the DNU would leave the Maagdenhuis in peace after the Science Festival. (See this recording, especially at 2.45 minutes for the guarantees that as Hans Amman gives: until Sunday 9 pm no summation)

So the CvB has mobilized another argument, the argument of security. Their claim is that the security of the visitors could not be guaranteed. But we have also seen that this argument of security has been hammered home to the ruling judge “over the back of Moroccans”.

It is utterly disturbing that the board has mobilized “2 Moroccans boys” as an allegedly inherently risky figure to press their charges against the students, and to evict the Maagdenhuis.

We are extremely angry and disappointed about this racism

We are also here to show that we are serious about our demands for change. Our demands for democratization. Our demand for a financially sound public university.

We actually want to celebrate the incredible revolution that is currently going on, on the ground, in the departments, and in the faculties. Staff and students are working together very hard to assess mismanagement, and to creatively redesign our everyday practice.

This is happening in Anthropology, human geography, sociology, political science, in the law faculty, in the Humanities, and in the faculty of Sciences.

And we do not only want to celebrate what is already happening on the ground. We also want to secure that we can continue working towards a democratic, truly innovative and hospitable university. A university that can cater for the diversity in people, ideas, research, teaching and management approaches and styles.

Thanks you!

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